7

Irrealis mood is used to talk about events that are not-real (ir-realis), such as: If I had eaten an apple earlier I wouldn't be hungry now. The condition (I ate an apple earlier) cannot be fulfilled any more at the time of speaking, or cannot be fulfilled at any time (If the Sun revolved around the Earth...) Evidentials mark the source of information. ...


4

The scope of logical elements (including modal verbs and adverbs) is, in my view, one of the least understood areas of the syntax and semantics of natural language. As TKR points out in his comment, word order is not necessarily decisive for determining scope relations. Perhaps the most widely discussed type of examples where one can see that word order is ...


4

First, a bit of background: "mood" in this sense is borrowed from *modus*, the Latin word used in certain ancient grammars. But then *modus* was also borrowed as "mode" via French, and now the two are used interchangeably. There's no relation to "mood" as in emotion, which comes from Germanic. You'd think the scientists studying language would be some of the ...


3

It seems to me that your argument about the simultaneity of articulatory gestures in speech is mostly irrelevant, because the hearer does not perceive these various gestures, but the (single) resulting auditory stream. It is true that in general each such gesture will have an effect on the stream (though in some cases barely detectable) but there is no ...


3

Simultaneity just means producing two or three signs simultaneously. It is common in British Sign Language, of which I have a very incomplete knowledge. All you have to do is pick two one-handed signs and add a facial expression (many facial expressions are signs in themselves), and you can easily produce three signs simultaneously, which is like saying ...


2

Permissive can is 'deontic' because its domain is that of obligation: it conveys a sense of unbinding or absence of obligation. You can stay as long as you want means that you are not 'bound' or 'obliged' to leave at any particular time. This permissive use designates a different kind of possibility than that conferred by physical ability (John can bench-...


2

Evidentiality is very closely related to modality. It isn't related to aspect. But, morphemes very often combine multiple meanings, and they can form paradigms with semantically unrelated morphemes. I don't know much about Turkish, but Wikipedia calls -miş a 'inferential perfective'. It describes it as The inferential past or miş-past can be understood ...


2

Givon does seem a little unclear here. I think he needs to allow for the traditional predicate nominal. In "She is a teacher", "is a teacher" means "teaches" -- it's a predicate, not a reference. In the other cases of non-referentials he's concerned with, a nominal which would ordinarily refer fails to refer to something in our real world because it's in ...


2

I think the most important part is this sentence: One of the most sensitive cross-linguistic tests for modality involves the referential behavior of NPs under various modal scopes (see Ch. 10). The canonical clause isn't construed as being under modal scopes: The unmarked clause-type in language - the main, declarative, affirmative clause - has, by ...


1

Modals -- and English modals in particular -- have several different varieties of sense. Must has two senses: the Deontic sense, which is social and deals with obligation and limitation of actions He must be back home by midnight. You must not panic when she appears. the Epistemic sense, which is logical and deals with judgements about probability This ...


1

So the word I was looking for was the hortative modality. This is a set of modalities where the speaker strongly encourages or exhorts someone to do something. Specifically, I think it's either the dehortative or inhortative modality, where the speaker discourages an action, as in "You must not fear." This wikipedia article has useful information to this ...


1

In attempting to answer this question I think it's useful to distinguish between the terms 'mood' and 'modality': 'Modality' is the category of semantic notions relating to a speakers expression of possibility, necessity, desirability, etc. 'Mood' refers to the grammatical devices used to signal a particular 'modality'. Every language has a lexicon along ...


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